My Colors. My Mind. My Life.

Celebrate the colors of your life and join our innovative multifaceted initiative that includes art therapy classes and a countywide mass media campaign to reduce the stigma of mental illness.
Our goals are to increase social inclusion, decrease discrimination and increase treatment-seeking among individuals experiencing mental health challenges.

Even though one in five Americans will experience mental illness in a given year, stigma in our society is still common. Stigma of mental illness involves negative stereotypes, discrimination, prejudice, and poor treatment –  which often leads to shame, suffering, self-blame, and poor self esteem – and is a major barrier to access mental healthcare for those subject to stigmatization.

Art Classes For Everyone

Art has the power to heal, inspire, provoke, challenge and support mental health.
Creating art enables us to share our culture and our identity. It can help us better understand our emotions – like a mirror, reflecting back what we have created.

The Council on Aging – Southern California is offering a variety of no-cost creative art therapy classes across Orange County. We want to encourage self-expression, self-discovery, and emotional growth in a non-judgmental atmosphere.

Through this creative process, we hope that community members can explore emotions, reduce stress and anxiety, improve self-esteem, and build awareness to reduce stigma surrounding overall mental health.

Creative Art Therapy Classes on YouTube

Healing With Art

Creative art therapy can be very valuable in treating issues such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and even some phobias.

It is a great way to express your emotions without words, process complex feelings and find relief.  Benefits include:

  • Improve Communication and Concentration Skills
  • Reduce Stress
  • Decrease Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety
  • Build Self-Esteem and Confidence

  • Reduce Feelings of Isolation

  • Foster a Stronger Sense of Identity and New Relationships
  • Encourages the Development of Healthy Coping Strategies
  • Improve Cognitive Functions
  • Cultivate Emotional Resilience

Creative Art Therapy Testimonials

Patricia, age 76 – “At first I was hesitant to participate in this art class because I’m not a crafty person. But I am so happy I took this big step. This class has been a fun way for me to express myself thru art. When I’m painting, I only think about each stroke. It is a form of therapy for me. I love sharing these paintings with my grandchildren.”

James, age 60 – “My days would have been very dull and long due to the stay-at-home order, but thanks to this virtual art class, days go by quickly and I get to spend time creating art that is meaningful to me and that lift up my spirit during what would have been a difficult time.”

Bào, age 72 – “This activity has helped ease my anxiety and is a nice break from watching the news or doing house chores. My house is full of paintings because of this class and I hope to add more to my collection”.

Mi Sun, age 67 – “Through this art class, I have learned about the beauty of art and my painting skills have improved so much. I have found a new hobby and have something to look forward to during this pandemic. While I paint, I feel tranquil and at peace.”  

Public Transit Campaign

The “My Colors. My Mind. My Life.” Stigma Reduction Campaign showcases the artwork of local older adults who have participated in our creative art therapy classes. The multicultural campaign is featured on buses and in bus shelters across Orange County. It is designed to shift the broader public, social, and structural perception about mental illness.

“My Colors. My Mind. My Life.” celebrates the unique talent of each artist.  It embraces their vision, their experiences, and their story telling through art. The campaign aspires to remind us to take care of own mental health, to normalize mental health conversations, and to treat others with respect, dignity, and compassion.

Tips to Reduce Stigma & Discrimination

Know the Facts*

Talk Openly About Them

Challenge Myths & Stereotypes

Examine Your Own Judgment, Behaviors, and Language

Encourage Mental Health Care

Treat Everyone with Dignity, Respect, Compassion, Acceptance, and Inclusiveness

The OC Movement

Stigma Free OC is a countywide movement that aims to eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness and substance use disorders. We can be part of the solution by taking the pledge to support the mental health stigma reduction efforts in Orange County.

Take the pledge today!

Contact Us

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OC Health Care Agency (HCA), Behavioral Health Services, Prevention & Intervention, Mental Health Services ACT/Prop. 63

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